hist-games: Games we can talk about.

Mark Waks justin at inmet.com
Wed Aug 20 04:51:24 PDT 1997


First of several replies on specific subjects...

Martin Hungerford wrote:
> card games based on the tarot deck... did they exist?

Actually, it's the other way around -- the tarot deck was
probably *originally* used for games, and only picked up
the divinatory aspect well after the Renaissance. There
were a number of games based on the Tarot, all of them
trick-taking games using the Trumps as, well, Trumps.

For a detailed look at the subject, check out "The Game
of Tarot" by Michael Dummett, a truly remarkable book
tracing pretty much everything we know about gaming with
the Tarot and the general history of the deck, including
dozens of Tarot games down the centuries. Also, I have a
slightly-speculative reconstruction of a late-Renaissance
Tarot game on the Period Games Homepage, based on a
couple of games in Dummett. Quite playable; I've taught
this game on occasion...

				-- Justin

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